by Blaise Wozniak, www.discovermoosejaw.com
Workers at a shelter in Moose Jaw have discovered that someone is apparently using its name to scam cash from well-meaning residents.
Director of Riverside Mission, Scott Elger, is trying to set the record straight after getting some calls about people being turned away from the local shelter because they didn’t have cash to pay up front. After telling the story, the person reportedly turned to begging in order to pay to stay at the shelter.
Elger said none of this is true and he is worried. He explained the mission does not take a deposit, down payment or anything of that nature when somebody needs a place to stay.
“For the first two weeks, most people just come in and there is no charge for them staying,” he said.
“If they don’t have a job, we don’t charge them. They should never be out in the public begging for money in order to stay here.”
Elger clarified there is some paperwork required for anyone that is eligible for social assistance, and if someone has a paying job but still needs a place to stay, the organization works out the financial details. He maintained no one is ever asked for an up-front payment to stay at the shelter.
Riverside Mission has nine beds for men who find themselves in crisis offering meals, a warm shower, clothing and toiletries, and support in job and lodging services. In addition, the mission partners with other agencies to provide counselling for addictions and other issues.